Max Made

Foundation – The All Time Classic Hits


From products and finishes to the best techniques to ‘apply and set’ – we show you the best all-time foundations to create a natural, all-day and flawless look.

Foundation is the key to good face – nothing works without it. While new picks come and go, here is the enduring Maxmade master list of foundation heros that never, ever go out of style (or leave my kit).

Whether you’re after a dewy look or crave coverage for all-out glam, there is a classic pick for you.



Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation

Replacing the opaque powders normally found in foundations with a ‘soft focus gel’ – that smooths and perfects the skin’s surface without having to create a mask-like effect. The result? A luminous ‘real’ skin finish that attracts and reflects light. Need I say more?




Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Skin Perfecting Foundation

Extra light, easily blendable and long-lasting – Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua offers sheer, natural coverage for women on the go. Perfect for those that don’t like to wear foundation but want to give a vibrant all-over sheen to skin, in a single wash of colour. Application tip: Massage into the skin like a moisturiser and you are ready to go!




Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick

If you like the flexibility of being able to build or blend your foundation depending on the occasion or the condition of your skin – then Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation Stick is for you! A unique hydrating, creamy foundation that can be blended over the skin for a flawless & soothing finish. Application tip: Best used with a sponge – I use beauty department Precision Sponge either wet for a more sheer coverage or dry for a fuller coverage – before blending into the skin in a dabbing motion with your fingers. Cover dark circles or spots by finishing with a little extra on the tip of your fingers or a brush. It’s a TRIPLE THREAT!



Armani Luminous Silk Foundation 

One of the industry’s most desired foundations, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is a weightless, radiant, oil-free fluid that is probably one of the most celebrated foundations of its time! It provides silky, flawless coverage that hydrates – with Micro-fil technology – and stays put all day. Like the name suggests, luminosity its game and flexibility in coverage is just one of its talents, along with one of the greatest colour selections I’ve experienced. Application tip: Powder is a must. Don’t worry, it doesn’t become cakey, nor do you loose its luminous, glowy effect.


Ellis Faas Skin Veil Foundation

A soufflé-like consistency that blends seamlessly over the skin with a velvet-like finish. It’s what I call my ‘Victoria’s Secret skin’ in a bottle! Smoothing fine lines, diminishes redness, and gliding over dry or flaky skin types, this foundation is not shy of a challenge – particularly when it comes to oilier skin types. Application tip: lightly powder ‘hot spots’ (areas that tend to shine) for a longer-wearing foundation.



Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer

The only matte, or should I say demi-matte foundation I use, due to it’s velvety, lightweight texture and easy to blend formula. I love how it manages to brighten skin without the dewy finish. A hydrating formula that glides over the skin filling and refining skin texture. Although they say its buildable, I prefer to use it as a medium coverage and conceal the areas I need the coverage so to not only suffocate the skin but to stop ashiness later in the day. I find matte foundations wear better when you work with this in mind. The concealer is rich and creamy and must be powdered when applied to the hot-spots of the face. Application tip: ALWAYS use a loose powder to set matte foundation as it is lighter and has less talc, resulting in a more refined finish! Also, get your self a good foundation brush _ I use Rae Morris’s Radiance Brush– to distribute the foundation evenly and finish with your fingers to really work the foundation into the skin.



Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

It’s no secret Charlotte Tilbury makeup is by far one of my favourite brands – and artist next to Kevyn Aucoin. In fact, if you had a peek inside my kit you would pretty much find her entire range! Like the rest of the collection, Wonder Glow Foundation delivers excellent results. No need to build or layer with this liquid foundation, a light coverage is all that is needed to even skin tone for a flawless, glowing result. My go-to for combination skin types, as it’s extremely hydrating, stopping any greasiness in the oilier areas and going patchy in the drier spots – which makes this foundation a great all-rounder when it comes to all skin types. Application tip: Best applied with a foundation brush – I use Rae Morris’s Radiance Brush– and massaged into the skin using your fingers for a flawless finish.



Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation

Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation is high on my suggestions when it comes to recommending a foundation to my client. The liquid formula, which is jam-packed with light-diffusing properties, can be built from a light to medium coverage with little to no effort. For me, the quality of a matte foundation is when it can make skin look radiant but without the shine of a luminous foundation. Which, this little beauty does to a T! Thanks, Benefit.  Application tip: prepping the skin with a moisturiser is still totally necessary even when a matte finish is desired. It helps the foundation blend and penetrates the skin for a seamless finish!



Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation SPF 25

With super active ingredients to protect against environmental aggressors and a medium-coverage formula that creates a soft-focus finish, Chanel’s Les Beiges foundation is one of the best foundations for everyday use. It has some epic shades and is super blendable and user-friendly – making a quick application easy and high quality, which when using daily, is a must. Application tip: being a liquid, a brush for that initial application is perfect. Then, use your fingers to blend out any edges and ‘melt’ the product in. If you need a touch-up throughout the day, you can use a sponge to build coverage.


Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

This is a super-light foundation that wears like a tinted moisturizer. For a matte finish foundation, I think it enhances the skin’s natural texture rather than masking it, letting it look like the best version of itself. Application tip: pump and go! Well, nearly. I use a buffing Foundation Brush ( like Shiseido NEW Daiya Fude face Duo Brush) and really buff the foundation out and around the face, starting from the centre.


Becca Cosmetics Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

If you’re after that lit-from-within glow, this is Becca’s best – and one of my favourites. Luminous, dewy and medium-coverage, this foundation is super-hydrating, making it ideal for dry winter skin or that summer sheer glow! Application tip: there is no better way to apply this baby than with your fingers. It helps with the glow and melting the pigment and the dewiness together with the skin. Stay away from sponges! This base needs the massage effect, with no powder necessary. Pssst… get your self some of Fenty Beauty’s Invisimatte Blotting Paper to remove excess shine.


La Mer The Soft Fluid Longwear Foundation

The weightless, creamy formula has the most natural of finishes, allowing your natural skin texture to shine through. La Mer is a cult-favourite of red carpet royalty and pro-makeup artists like Kim K & Patrick Ta for a reason… and that reason is the versatility in the finish of this foundation. Its buildable coverage allows you to maximise or blend your coverage out where it’s needed, while still maintaining a natural look. It’s not cheap, but in my opinion, well worth the price tag for that ultra glowy and (most importantly) protected with SPF20 benefit. Application tip: use your fingers. They’re the best tool and will give you that makeup artist finish. You can use a foundation brush to initially blend the product out, but the warmth of your fingers to finish is key! Again, any powder is to be used at a minimum and only where you need it! Loose powders like Makeup For Ever’s HD Translucent Powder goes on like a treat and doesn’t alter the finish!

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick

When it comes to a stick foundation and/or maximum coverage, this beauty is undoubtedly a fave of mine for its creaminess and blendability. A major favourite amongst beauty Vloggers for its block-out flawless coverage, this baby has the longest of long-lasting results and a great selection of colours for fair, yellow, olive and dark skins! Application tip: apply with a brush to evenly coat skin. Use a sponge to build where you need it or buffing foundation brush to blend out. Use minimal powder & or only where you need it! this foundation can become cake or ashy fast with carless powder application. I love using Mecca/s Banna Bake Pressed Powder or Laura Marcier Secret Brightening Powder under the eyes x


Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

An updated formula from the original HD Foundation, Makeup Forever’s bestselling base offers the best in high coverage with the option of a sheer to a medium coverage if needed. This is my go-to for oily skins – the foundation has a semi-matte finish, with a slight glow. One of my all-time favourites for its 40 shade selection, particularly when I’m working with darker skin tones. Application tip: for the best finish, apply to the centre of the face and blend outwards towards your hairline with a brush. Use a sponge to build coverage and your fingers to blend or melt the product into the skin where it’s already good!




Maybelline Fitme Foundation

While some matte foundations can exaggerate pores, particularly when it comes to tackling oilier skin types – which makes up the largest part of matte foundation wearers – Maybelline Fitme Foundation works as a lightweight gauze over the skin to smooth out pores. Resulting in defused-looking skin, what I love about this foundation is the quality for the money. Nothing excites me more than a drug store product with a department store finish! Application tip: powder is a must, particularly on the hot-spots of the face, i.e. nose, middle of the chin, the centre of the forehead and each side of the nose – to set and give longevity.




Words: Alina B / Products Review & Makeup: Max May



  1. Ellie says:

    Hi Max,

    What powder do you recommend to set the Armani & Stila?


  2. max says:

    I use Laura Mercier & loose powders to set! When Im on set I use Becca Cosmetics Pressed Powders. Enjoy xMM

  3. Jessi Malay says:

    Great post!
    Tons of great info and great products….

    Jessi Malay

  4. Ash says:

    Hi Max,

    Such a helpful post! I really love the CT, Benefit and YSL foundations as well and the Maybelline one is great as a drugstore option. Definitely need to give your other recommendations a try.

    Love your work,
    Ash x

  5. Bennie says:

    Hi Max
    Is there any stores in Australia stocking Charlotte Tilbury range of makeup?
    If I would need to buy from overseas, could you advise of the best place for range and value for money
    Take Care
    Bennie x

  6. max says:

    Thanks for the feed back Ash! xxMM

  7. max says:

    Hi Bennie! I shop at Selfridges when Im in London and Nordstrom in the US – otherwise its exclusive in AUS through Net-a-Porter Beauty. A little birdie tells me she will have a Aus online store very soon! Stay Tuned 😉 xxMM

  8. max says:

    Thanks for the GREAT feed back Jessi! Im happy youre getting lots from it! Lots of love and stay in touch xxMM

  9. Amie says:

    Max, in your opinion, what is the best loose powder you’ve come across? Or do you find they’re all relatively similar?

  10. max says:

    I always tend towards Becca and Laura Mercier when it comes to loose powders. They both have an awesome array of colours including translucent and in LM case the Secret Brightening Powder for brightening and setting concealer under the eyes!! Give them a try, I think you will be just as satisfied xMM

  11. Gemma says:

    Hi Max, what would you suggest for a high coverage, yet won’t make my skin shiney after a few hours of wear, which is a common problem!

  12. max says:

    Hi Honey… I suggest the Tom Ford Traceless stick Foundation for maximum coverage. The problem with any maximum coverage foundation is it’s thicker therefor it will become shinier than others. I would suggest you lightly powder and used oil absorbing paper so you don’t make the foundation go ashy with all the powder. The other way is to use a matt primer. Becca Cosmetics has a fab one. xMM

  13. Kate says:

    Hi Max,
    I just found your blog – it’s great! I will be keeping a closer eye on your posts from now on!
    Can I please ask for your advice – I really want to buy the Charlotte Tilbury foundation and powder for summer. I wear the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in the shade 30 (I faux tan a little in summer), is there a Charlotte Tilbury shade that is similar to this please?
    Thanks heaps x

  14. bec says:

    hi max, just wondering what foundation you would recommend is the best for combination skin? thanks, bec

  15. max says:

    Hi bec… What sort of coverage and finish are you after? I would have a good read through the above – I have broken them up into finishes, coverages and what sort of skin type they are good for. If it doesn’t state a particular skin type then it is great for ALL skin types. If you need any more info after that, msg me back! xMM

  16. Sarah says:

    Hi Max,

    Loving all your posts! Was just wondering which of these products you’d suggest for a wedding in a tropical climate?

    Thanks heaps 🙂

  17. max says:

    Hi Sarah! Depending on your skin type I would go for super light weight foundation like the charlotte Tilbury and conceal where you need extra coverage. To set and hot I’d use the Giorgio Armani PRESSED Luminous Silk Foundation. Its genius! Congrates on the wedding and GOOD LUCK! xxMM

  18. Elouise says:

    Hi, I love your reviews and posts!!!! I would love to have your advice on something I have an endless battle with! I currently use Estée Lauder double wear foundation which I love because it is full coverage and lasts all day but I dislike how matte it is. Is there any more dewy full coverage really long lasting foundations you could suggest?
    Thank you!

  19. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much ? Also I was wondering what colour you’d suggest for luminous silk. I’m currently a 33 in the RMS Uncover Up. I understand its a tad difficult when you can’t see my skin tone!
    Thanks again xx

  20. max says:

    the only way to truly know is for you to go and try. I suggest you try 2-3 shades, do a selfie both inside and out and use them as a colour catalogue of what shade and brand matches you the best! hope that help… lots of love xxMM

  21. Taryn says:


    Any recommendations for a light to medium coverage for combination skin but more on the oily side. I use Mac blot powder and blotting papers all day but end up shiny within 2 hours. I wear Mac face & body or Mac studio fix. I also used a oil free primer in smash box
    Please help. Thank you!! X

  22. Cat says:

    Hi max, I am now getting all new makeup as my birthday is coming up and I need help on what to get! If you could privately email me and give me directions on what I should purchase for what’s best for me that would be great! Thank u

  23. max says:

    I would not suggest F&B for someone that has oily/combo skin as its very shinny in finish and texture. I would suggest using a matt finish foundation and adding say a liquid luminizer like Armani’s Fluid Sheer ( multiple colours to choose from) or use a Ellis Faas. The Charlotte Tilbury is on a similar level for coverage but is less oily if that sounds good? Have a good read through the above again and see what sounds right before going to try them. x MM

  24. Alysse says:

    Hi Max

    I was wondering if you recommend using a primer underneath foundation or just straight moisturiser. Absolutely obsessed with your blog, read your posts over and over again 🙂 You are incredible!

    Alysse xx

  25. Marissa says:

    Hi Max, love the website. I recently purchased Georgio Armani luminous silk foundation. Just wondering what you recommend as the best way to apply the foundation?
    Thankyou!! Xx

  26. max says:

    Hi Alysse! Nice to hear from you…

    It depends on the skin type and condition to what I use? If skin is dull and un-even I use the Dermalogica Skin Perfect! If I want a matt finish or am dealing with large pores I use Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Master Primer! For normal skin types or if skin is dehydrated I use Dermalogica Hydration Concentrate or La Mer’s Moisture Gel,They’re the most hydrating and work beautifully under foundation!

    Enjoy… xMM

  27. max says:

    Hi Marrisa! How are you?

    That’s great news! You are going to love it!

    Ok, so that depends on what finish you want? I recommend using your fingers. The fingers will give you the most flawless-blended finish. But basically If you want to build the coverage use a sponge to apply it first and if you want a lighter coverage use a foundation brush to blend it over your face before working it into the skin with your fingers.

    let me know how you go?


  28. Nicole Cameron says:

    thanks for this! I love your reviews!! I use Hourglass Illusion Skin Tint which is great and a little of the Charlotte Tilbury over the top. Have you tried her new foundation yet? Magic Foundation?

  29. Chiara says:

    Hi Max!

    Just felt compelled to tell you that among all of the great talent in Australia, I (and I’m sure everyone above, too) truly think you’re in a class of your own. You have such a good eye for what makes every individual person beautiful and are so generous with your time helping all of your readers. Most importantly, you seem like a really down to earth guy despite all of your success, which is so impressive! I can only see you going onwards and upwards from here. Good luck with everything you’re doing! Xx

  30. Kate says:

    Hi Max, what would you recommend for young skin? I’m not looking for something with high coverage but just a product that will add a gorgeous glow (p.s I have normal skin) thank you again for the amazing post, xx

  31. max says:

    Hi Nicole! I have tred CT Magic Foundation. Its pretty amazing actually! Very similar to the Armani Luminous Silk in its finish and texture. xMM

  32. max says:

    You are to kind Chiara. Thnak you for your kind words. Im just happy to hear you enjoy my post and tips. Lots of love to you xMM

  33. max says:

    Hi Kate! I’ve just started using Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Glow and have to say it could be my new fav (light-med coverage) of all time. Try it and tell me what you think? xMM

  34. Briony says:

    Hi Max,

    I am a huge fan of Ellis Faas foundation, but I just go through it too quickly and it’s an expensive habit! I’m curious about using the Charlotte Tilbury foundation you recommend as an alternative – can you please suggest which shade would most closely match No.3 in Ellis Faas? Also might try the Maybelline – great suggestions in this post.

    Thanks x

  35. serpil says:

    Hi there Max!
    Just wondering what is the best concealer for melasma/pigmentation on face? i have got them from
    pregnancy two yrs ago and just cant find the right concealer! wanted something light.. Thanks in advance xxx

  36. max says:

    Hi… With out seeing the exact shade of the pigmentation and your natural skin tone its hard for me to suggest and shade but I would look into the Bobbi Brown concealers and camouflage creams and or the MAC colours. You are going to have to layer colours. Maybe a green or pink depending on teh base colour and then a skin toned colour over the top. I would then look as a powder to set it. Look at Laura Mercier loose powders or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Compacts. They both will both help set the concealers in place and hopefully help minimise any ashiness. Let me me know how you go? xMM

  37. max says:

    Hi Briony! Love that you also love the Ellis Faas! I would suggest either the same shade in CT or one shade lighter. Its so hard for me to say without seeing your skin colour. I feel the E.F foundation are a little more pink than the very yellow tone C.T foundations are. Saying this I would suggest you looked at the Magic Foundation by C.T rather than the Light Wonder. Light Wonder is a much lighter coverage than the Ellis Faas… let me know how you go? xxMM

  38. Jo says:

    Hi Max,
    I have oily skin and am after a new powder compact for ease as I do travel a lot. However Im also really weary of any nasty flashbacks from SPF in the powder! Can you please recommend me one thats good for setting foundation as well as offering perhaps a medium coverage with a sort of matte finish.
    PS: I think your work is amazing! Thanks for all the good advice!
    Love, Jo

  39. Megan says:

    Hello Max!

    I loved reading this post! I have quite dry skin and was wondering if you could please recommend a foundation that is hydrating with light-medium buildable coverage? Also, would you recommend using a moisturiser before applying my foundation?
    Thank you,


  40. max says:

    Hi Megan… glad you love the post. I would suggest you tried the Charlotte Tilbury foundation – this is more on the light side of light to medium with a glowy finish – and the Armani Luminous Silk for a more matt LUMINOUS finish that has a good medium coverage. Moisturized is a MUST before applying foundation. I also recommend you exfoliate regularly to help with an even application and finish. take care xxMM

  41. max says:

    Hi Jo… I would un-doubtable recommend the Armani Luminous Silk Pressed Foundation!

    It’s my fav!


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